Come sail with us!

Founded in 1903, the Mendota Yacht Club is the oldest sailing club on Lake Mendota and Dane County. Our mission is to encourage the sport of sailing among young and old.

Meet Commodore Patrick

Commodore Patrick Heaney was practically born on a sailboat. While most infants are rocked in their cradles, Patrick was rocked on his parents’ cruiser while they sailed in the Chesapeake Bay. One of Patrick’s earliest memories is of sailing.

As soon as he could hold a tiller, Patrick was steering his own boat. At age 4, after his parents had moved from Virginia back to their native Neenah, he started racing Optis. And he didn’t just race; he also sailed Lasers and Sunfish for fun. When he outgrew the Optis, he started racing X-boats and, at age 13, he began racing M-16s. Patrick’s love for E-Scows started in Oshkosh in the late 1980s. He would race his M-16 in the morning, then hang out to see if he could score a spot as a 4th in the afternoon E-Scow race.

With so much youthful sailing experience, he was a natural to become a sailing instructor. At age 12 he joined the Fox Valley Sailing School where he taught and then eventually ran the program until he was 19. During high school, he started a sailing team that competed regionally and nationally. He campaigned an A-Scow and won a few ILYA races.

He continued his sailing when he went to Colgate University from 1996-2000, studying physics and mathematics. He qualified for Nationals several times, sailing on the boats provided by the host schools (usually Flying Juniors and 420s). After he graduated from Colgate in 2000, he stopped sailing for a few years to work as a professional skydiver. Although he was based out of New York City, he traveled all over the world to host skydiving events and to coach students. He stopped jumping, but not before he completed over 8,000 skydives. Some of his most memorable skydives were night jumps in the complete darkness. He compares this to sailing at night.

In 2005, Patrick came to the University of Wisconsin to pursue a PhD in materials science. He achieved his doctorate in four years, graduating in 2009. His thesis was on diamond coating, a topic he used to secure Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding from the National Science Foundation. With this funding, he then started NCD technologies and has been at the helm of his company ever since.

Patrick joined Mendota Yacht Club in 2005 at the same time he started graduate school. He started by crewing for Justin Segersten on an E-Scow. A year later he decided to dust off his old E-Scow (still waiting for him in Oshkosh) and bring it to Madison. He reluctantly changed his sail number from J-13 to H-13 and thus became a bona fide Mendota Yacht Club E-Scow sailor. As a new MYC skipper, he bounced around with various crew for a few years, but he eventually convinced Justin to crew with him.

With all the different boats Patrick has sailed, he has a particular love for the E-Scow. He keenly appreciates the E-Scow’s response to physical input saying, “The harder you work, the faster you go.” He loves speed, so a planing boat with an asymmetrical sail seems like the only option for him. He is also amazed at how competitive the fleet is (both in Madison and elsewhere), making racing and regattas challenging and fun.

Patrick joined the MYC board in 2019 because he feels there is a need for members to step up and to help the club develop and grow. Although he was extremely busy running his own business, raising three kids, and serving on two boards (both MYC and the Madison Youth Sailing Foundation), he agreed to take the Commodore position to help steer the club into the future.

Patrick hopes to accomplish two goals as Commodore. The first is to make racing at MYC better. He believes everyone wants this. The second is to create some sustainable goals that will ensure quality racing and a quality club for years to come. This means getting more member involvement with race management, club management, and social activities. It means setting up sustainable systems that can be managed by current and future volunteers. It means making volunteering fun and rewarding so that everyone will want to be an active part of the club’s racing and social activities.

To accomplish these goals, Patrick believes that volunteer positions need to be divided into more “bite-sized” chunks so that volunteering is more manageable and easier to say “yes” to. He hopes that using a variety of input for MYC’s social events will get more attendance, especially cross-fleet attendance, to build back the MYC community. Patrick understands that the past two years of Covid has been hard on MYC. His goal is to have 2022 be the year when the club comes back strong, and when both the racing and social events are dynamic and fun.

Stay tuned. He will soon be inviting you to help your club out by volunteering!

Patrick Heaney

Commodore Patrick Heaney (center) with his Crew

2021 Commodore's Banquet

Commodore Charlie Goehring and the Board of Directors of the Mendota Yacht Club invite you to attend the 2021 Commodore’s Banquet

Friday, October 22, 2021
Cocktails at 6 p.m.
Dinner and Trophy presentation to follow

Sign-Up Deadline

Please RSVP for this event by October 16, 2021 by clicking this link.

Friday, October 22, 2021
Cocktails at 6 p.m.
Dinner and Trophy presentation to follow

Fluno Center
601 University Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin 53715

Adult Menu Options (Includes house salad, dinner roll, and beverage)

  • Vegetarian Ratatouille $30
  • Fish Fry (Beer Battered Cod) $30
  • Marinated Flank Steak $36

Child Option

  • Chicken Tenders $15

Dessert: There will be a celebration cake of the 2021 MYC sailing season. Alcoholic beverages wil be available at a cash bar.

Special Dietary Requests: Contact Fluno Center directly at 608-441-7148 (David).

Following Dinner

Dave Elsmo and John Kilsdonk will present highlights of their exciting season of racing on Lake Michigan in Thunderstruck, a Farr 60. Commodore Charlie Goehring and Fleet Captains will honor the series and season champions and recipients of our many historic Specialty awards during the trophy presentation. The evening will conclude with the traditional Change-of-Watch flag ceremony when Commodore Charlie turns his duties over to Vice Commodore Patrick Heaney, and we welcome new Vice Commodore Matthew Barron and Rear Commodore Brett Hulsey. Let’s make this a successful end to the 2021 season!

MYC Covid Policy

To offer the safest environment possible for MYC members, we are requiring everyone attending this event to do the following.

  1. Wear a face mask that covers nose and mouth except when actively eating or drinking. Children age 2 and under are not required to wear a mask.
  2. Be fully vaccinated or have a negative Covid 19 test within 72 hours of the event. Note: The MYC Members voted by unanimous consent at the Annual Business Meeting to this requirement, without objection. Attendees may be asked to present proof of vaccination or a negative test at registration upon arrival. Acceptable forms of proof include original, photocopied, or digital copies of vaccine cards or test results.

COVID-19 tests are available at no cost nationwide at health centers and select pharmacies. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act ensures that COVID-19 testing is free to anyone in the U.S., including the uninsured.

Here is a list of places where you can get tested for free;

Please note that over-the-counter Rapid Antigen Tests are acceptable and can be obtained from most pharmacies, but there is a cost for these.

As a back-up, MYC will have a limited number of 15-minute Covid tests on hand.

MYC Member Dave Elsmo is named Director of Outdoor UW

MYC is proud of member Dave Elsmo for his promotion to Director of Outdoor UW. In this capacity, he will serve as the primary Hoofer advisor, supervise the recreational advising staff, and oversee the lakefront rental operation. His previous position with UW was Sailing Program Manager and Hoofer Club Advisor. Dave is also a former MYC Board member and was active in fostering positive working relationships between Hoofers and MYC. Congratulations Dave! MYC looks forward to working with you. You can read about Dave's new job here.

Dave Elsmo

2021 MYC Annual Membership Meeting

All MYC members are invited to the annual business meeting (a.k.a. Membership meeting) on September 15, 2021 at 7 p.m. on Zoom. You can access the meeting here. For a printable PDF agenda, click here.

Gusty for the Gutsy

It took guts to go out in last Sunday's gusts, and E-Scow sailors Kelsea Kierstead, Soren Hughes, and Peter Saurer (H-7) had the right stuff. Here they are with their Velocitek showing their top speed of 20 knots. Fun Ride!

Gusty for the gutsy
Kelsea Kierstead, Soren Hughes, and Peter Saurer

Meet Brett Hulsey--Cat Lover Extraordinaire

When Brett Hulsey was 12 years old, his parents took him on a trip to visit friends in California. His father was teaching at a conservation training in Monterey, and afterward they went to visit his mother’s friends in Oxnard. The friends invited Brett’s family to go sailing. Although Brett had never been on a sailboat, he was up for an adventure. So the friends took him to the Malibu Yacht Club, loaded him on a 20-foot Catamaran, rigged him with trapeze, and treated him to the ride of his very young life. This experience led him to a lifelong love affair with sailing in general and Catamarans in particular.

Upon returning to his native Oklahoma, he started sailing on a Hobie 16 on Lakes Thunderbird and Texoma. While it was mostly day sailing, the best wind was often at night, with 20-mile-an-hour straight winds coming off the Sonoran desert. His number one job as crew was to watch for floating timber, and fortunately, they avoided that.

Since his Oklahoma Hobie 16 days, he has sailed on dozens of different craft (F-16 Viper, Harkin F-18, Hobie 18, McGregor 26, A-Scow, E-Scow, and all different types and sizes of Catamarans) in a variety of locations (Alaska, Lake Superior, and here in Madison on both Lakes Monona and Mendota). But, through it all, it was his love of Catamarans that prevailed. He loves that they can be both competitive (they reach speeds of 20 mph) and relaxing (it’s like sailing on a big hammock).

In 1998, Brett moved to Madison and found an instant affinity for the beautiful lakes, enjoying them on his canoe and kayak. His job working to protect and clean up the Great Lakes for the Sierra Club took him all over. He sailed in the Apostle Islands with Bill Davis and Jane Elder. He also got to sail in western Lake Erie near Kelly’s Island. He also got to sail in an MYC race with Bill on an E scow. Wow, there were a lot of lines on that boat.

He also chaired the Lakes and Watersheds Commission for many years and worked to clean up and protect our lakes. He headed the Manure Management Committee-- truth in political advertising-- that helped build the two community manure digesters that take tons of phosphorus out of the lake watershed every year, reducing the risk of algae blooms.

He took his family sailing on an 89-foot Frigate, the J.E. Riggins, in the Gulf of Maine. Driving that boat while looking straight up at the telltails on the 90-foot mast was a challenge.

He decided to move up to a better boat when a friend, Bob Stoehr, was about to send his A scow The Challenge to the “farm” for storage. His purchase price was a bratwurst, but Bob should have paid him to take the boat. Brett rebuilt the hull and board brackets and stopped the continual leaking. But Brett discovered that it’s more fun to sail on a boat than to work on it. The Challenge eventually did go away to the farm near Green Lake.

He then got a MacGregor 26 and began sailing it from the Memorial Union. It was there where he met some MYC sailors, including Pete Mooney, who invited him to one of Dave Gorwitz’s Spring Banquets. His job was to prepare the tenderloin, which his steakhouse cooking prepared him for. He loved the sailing camaraderie of MYC members and decided to join. He was a social member for 3-4 years, but then became a crew on Andy and Barbie Jackson’s E-Scow.

As much as he loved Scow and Keelboat sailing, his heart was always with Catamarans. So, two years ago, he started racing on a Hobie 18 with wings and six cup holders. He joined the Catamaran Racing Association of Wisconsin (CRAW) and raced a couple of races around the state including Lake Michigan, Green Bay, and Green Lake. Several CRAW members were also MYC members, and they regularly joined MYC for the Labor Day race.

Seeing the enthusiasm CRAW members had for racing with MYC, Brett imagined the possibilities of building a Catamaran Fleet within MYC. In 2020, he was tapped to develop an MYC Catamaran fleet and was recruited to join the MYC Board of Directors for that purpose. Brett feels that the hundreds of cats in Dane County also offer an opportunity to grow MYC membership and provide sailing opportunities to young people.

This summer, Brett worked with CRAW members Dan Hearn and Phil Tietze (also an MYC member) to include Catamaran racing in the Payton Regatta. There were 10 CRAW boats from across the Midwest in the regatta. In addition to racing, CRAW members joined the Payton Picnic at the Maple Bluff Beach House. Members of both organizations ate tacos together, mingled on the beach, and enjoyed a Lake Mendota sunset. The spark for Cat racing within MYC had been ignited.

As a board member, Brett has a goal to develop the Catamaran fleet into 5 to 10 boats over two years. To achieve this goal, he plans to network with and recruit more Hobie sailors to join in the MYC racing. He has already developed rapport with the Hobie sailors at the Madison Sailing Center (next to the Warner Park Boat ramp) and is encouraging them to give MYC racing a try. With the help of the Mendota Yacht Club and other catamaran sailors, the goal is to recruit more young people/Hoofer members to try out the Catamaran.

He’s working with seasoned Catamaran sailors and instructors to launch a mentoring program. The goal is to have the pros take interested folks sailing, teach them about Catamarans, and encourage them to get their own boats.

This winter, Brett will join in the negotiations with the City of Madison in hopes of securing some storage space for Catamarans at Burrows Park. The Cats will be back once again racing on Labor Day and join MYC in the Labor Day Race around the lake. With Brett’s encouragement and hard work, maybe we’ll see them consistently on the starting line next summer.

If you’d like to try a cat sail, contact Brett at 608-334-4994 or email

Brett Hulsey on his Catamaran
Brett Hulsey on His Catamaran

Lake Geneva Boat Wins E-Invitational

July 15

Congratulations to Vince Porter and the crew of I-2, Wide Open, for winning the E-Invitational Regatta on Lake Mendota last week-end. Vince received 2 first places in the 4-race regatta. One of those 1st places came from the high-wind race that claimed 8 capsizes.

Vince Porter Picture for Website

From L-R: Vincent Porter, Coye Harrett, Clifford Porter, and Monroe Melges. Photo Courtesy of ILYA.

MYC Member Patrick Heaney Wins Race #2 of the E-Invitational

July 10

After a day of doldrums and no racing yesterday, today brought perfect conditions (modest temperatures, slightly overcast skies to tamp the heat, winds ranging from 5-12 mph) and three competitive races. Congratulations to MYC's very own Patrick Heaney for winning the 2nd race of the day. He sailed with crew Max Watrous, and Justin Segersten. If you see them at tonight's BBQ picnic, be sure to congratulate them.

IMG 1644

Justin Segersten, Patrick Heaney, and Max Watrous, winners of Race #2. Photo courtesy of Susan Stites.

E-Scow Invitational Regatta Starts Today

The boats are arriving and being rigged at Governor Nelson park. Many boats will be out on the lake to watch the action, so it's important to understand how to watch the race without getting in the way. Our regatta PR Chair Don Sanford has compiled a great guide for spectators. Whether you are an experienced racer or just out to enjoy watching the excitement, it is a good idea to check out Don's Tips for Spectator Boats.

You can stay on top of regatta events by checking our Regatta Daily News. We will be in contact with regatta personnel, the RC boats, spectator boats, and photographers who will feeding us the latest scoop, so check out the page often.

2021 ILYA E-Scow Invitational Regatta

It’s official, MYC is hosting the 2021 ILYA E-Scow Invitational.

Regatta chairs Darby and Tim Sugar are pleased to announce that E-Boats from around the Inland will converge on Lake Mendota July 9–11, 2021 for their annual invitational regatta.

Regatta headquarters will be at Governor Nelson State Park. Most boats will be launched there. Others will launch from the MYC rail at Burrows Park. Races are planned for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Visit MYC's Regatta Information page to learn all the details.


The Payton Regatta is Back!

The Payton Regatta and the Payton party are back! It was such a disappointment when we had to cancel these events last year due to COVID. This year, the regatta will be raced as it normally is. The evening gathering, with some adjustments, will again be held at the Maple Bluff Beach House. Here's what you need to know.

The Dates

Saturday, June 19 and Sunday, June 20, 2021

The Racing

June 19 starting at 10 a.m.--Two races back-to-back

June 20 starting at 10 a.m.--Two races back-to-back. The first of these two races is also a regular Sunday club race.

The Keelboat fleet will be racing for the Mallory Cup

The Party

Saturday June 19, 6-8 p.m.
Maple Bluff Beach House
365 Lakewood Blvd.

Pascal's Cantina will be catering a taco bar buffet. This event is free to MYC members. However, we do need to give Pasqual's Cantina a head count, so if you plant to attend, please RSVP by June 12 to Linda Baumann at

The Awards Ceremony

Sunday, June 20 at 3 p.m.
Burrows Park in the grassy area by the boats
25 Burrows Road

Please show up to observe the racing, to party with your sailing friends at the taco picnic, and to congratulate the winners.

Sign Up for the MYC Picnic!

What could be better than reconnecting with your fellow MYC members after not having seen them for over a year? Since it’s still a bit early to sail, come to the Spring Gathering that MYC is hosting at Elver Park.

As a way to welcome you back, MYC will be providing a Blue Plate catered picnic lunch and beverages to MYC members on May 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Because of COVID 19 restrictions, space is limited, so sign up soon to reserve your spot.

Event: Spring Picnic

Date: May 15, 2021

Time: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Elver Park, 1250 McKenna Blvd, Madison, WI

You can sign up for this event here:

For questions regarding this event, contact Linda Baumann at

P.S. If you haven’t already renewed your membership to MYC, now is a good time so you don’t miss this fun member event. And the good news is that if you sign up within the next couple of days, you may still get a listing in the MYC membership directory as the proofs haven’t yet arrived in our inboxes. So don’t delay. You can renew your membership here:

Successful Day at Burrows Park

People are excited about sailing. Around 30 people showed up at the Burrows Park work party on May 8. Lon Schoor, our Burrows Park coordinator, organized the work party and there was no shortage of work to be done. People jumped right in to:

  • Put in both the north and south piers.
  • Put in both the north and south rails.
  • Set buoys.
  • Paint dollies.
  • Cut weeds.
  • Trim tree branches.
  • Hang the chain hoist on the crane.
  • Rake the sand piles left by the trenchers during the electrical work last fall.

Thanks to everyone who showed up to make it a successful day.

Meet Commodore Charlie

A Bit about Commodore Charlie Goehring, in his own words:

“Let me first say, I'm humbled to serve as your Commodore for the 2020-21 sailing year. Along with MYC's Board of Directors, we look forward to guiding our club back to a full racing and social slate as we navigate the uncertain COVID waters.

For those who have tipped a cold one with me at any number of MYC venues (Memorial Union, Oakcrest Tavern, Burrows Park), you already know that my problem solving approach is influenced by my community service leadership roles with the Madison Breakfast Rotary, Boy Scouts of America, and Scouts for Equality. My administrative style has also been influenced by the managerial posts I’ve held with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Forest Service, and the not-for-profit Southern Forest Products Association & Truss Plate Institute.

My lifetime of service started when I was growing up in East Greenwich, Rhode Island which straddles the challenging waters of Narragansett Bay, a sailing Mecca. Rhode Island, known as the Ocean State, is also home to Naval Air Station Quonset Point, Naval Base Newport, and Seabee Base Davisville, all of which were my boyhood maritime haunts. The Goehring family tree spans five generations of Navy Men, the youngest being my son, CM2 Goehring, who is currently serving as a "Can Do" Seabee at Naval Station Norfolk.

Rhodies are taught at an early age that our fledging sailing Navy started in East Greenwich when the State Assembly passed a resolution on June 12, 1772 creating the Rhode Island State Navy by authorizing and funding two Sloops-Of-War, the flagship Katy (later renamed U.S.S. Providence of the Continental Navy) and the Washington to challenge HMS Rose.

With this rich maritime history as a backdrop, my folks instilled in me a love for sailing and service at an early age when they enrolled me in East Greenwich Yacht Club's Youth Sailing Program and in Boy Scouts of America. After I attained the rank of Eagle Scout and earned nearly all the water sport merit badges, Narragansett Council offered me four years of summertime employment during my high school years. My job was to direct Yawgoog Scout Reservation's Sailing Center. We trained and certified nearly 500 Scouts & Adult Leaders each week. We taught them to sail and to race a 16-boat Dyer Dhow Dinghy fleet. Those where heady times (late 1960s) for Boy Scouts of America Sailing, particularly when British Scouts would challenge our best sailors to the "Little America's Cup" series; and like our across-the-bay America’s Cup professionals, the "Rhodies" managed to sweep the "Limeys" in similar fashion.

Fast forward to the present. In my two years of serving with the MYC Board, we invariably discuss how we must grow the sport of sailing to remain viable. It starts with our youth. Two of our newest directors, Paige Fitton and Julie Unite, have children who actively race MCs and J70s, and have enrolled them in nearby inland lake youth sailing programs. We are excited to add their experience and input to that of current board members Patrick Heaney and Eric Simonson who also have children active in youth sailing. I know they will use their knowledge and expertise to develop an outstanding youth program for MYC.

Since youth sailing programs need adequate space for shore school and gear storage, the Board will continue to evaluate promising properties for a potential water activities center. Board member and Treasurer Afan Ottenheimer will continue to prepare cost benefit analyses, and we will keep you apprised of our progress. If we find something that fits our needs, we will seek MYC member ratification before proceeding with a purchase.

As we emerge from the COVID-19 doldrums and the cyber-world where we have been trapped, we will all be ready for in-person socializing. Rear Commodore Matthew Barron will continue with his important work with Public Health Madison and Dane County to keep us informed as we navigate COVID 19. Once local COVID restrictions permit, we will resume social gatherings such as after-race parties and other board-sanctioned events. Linda Baumann, our Social Chair and a new board member, will put together a great program just as she has in the past.

Plans are underway to add another fleet to our racing roster. New board member Brett Hulsey is an avid catamaran sailor and will work to bring the Lake Mendota-based cats into our racing program. It will be great to have multiple new boats queuing up at the MYC starting line. The next couple of years will also bring some regattas to our lake. Vice Commodore Patrick Heaney will continue his outreach with the ILYA and the National E-Scow Association as both organizations have designated MYC to host their annual regattas for 2022 and 2023, providing COVID doesn’t change things.

I’d like to close by saying that I’m a strong advocate of technology and social media. Please visit our webpage often and, if you haven’t already joined our Facebook page, I encourage you to do so.”

Commodore Charlie Upright

Burrows Park Pier Out

Burrows Pier-Out is on Saturday October 3 starting at 8:30am. Please pass this information on to any crew or others who may be willing to help and log 'work hours' on your behalf. There were not many boats stored at Burrows because of COVID so we will need everyone who sailed to help on Saturday.

Wear your mask!!

COVID-19 Update

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mendota Yacht Club's racing rules have been modified to reflect adherence to Public Health Madison and Dane County’s Phase 2 restrictions. These modified rules will be in effect until Phase 2 restrictions have been changed to a different phase or lifted altogether. Please check the following link for the latest updates.

Pop-Up Regatta

By Stefan Schmidt
August 15, 2020
Burrows Park, Lake Mendota

The Mendota Yacht Club behind the efforts of Afan Ottenheimer and David Sebald decided a regatta should be organized in an effort to get some MC racing in during a time when our club suspends racing during originally scheduled ILYA championships with the hopes other clubs might have a need to attend a last- minute Covid aware regatta. As it turns out, many clubs DID race this weekend and our off-lake attendance did not pan out. We did hear there would be interest in our venue for events down the road.

What a day of sailing it turned out to be! Boats were rigged in rainy conditions, there was a brief postponement and the morning races got started around 11:30 by race officer Anma Ingeana with Don Sanford setting marks in a formidable 12-16 mph breeze from the NNW. The roster highlighted youngsters Billy and Mitch Fitton whose ages combined (15 and 12) was still less than a third of the eldest competitor. These lads beat the eventual event winner to the first mark in race #1 in challenging conditions.

The wind was brisk, wave sets were building and the course location allowed for interesting effects of wind curving out of Warner Bay around massive Maple Bluff menacingly close to the windward mark. For reasons unknown to this writer it paid big time getting close to the bluff, other times not so much. I wouldn’t call it a regular oscillating wind pattern but there were big lines of breeze coming in from both the right and the left sides very randomly throughout the day. The sky cleared at lunch break, the wind died and then filled in mightily for races #3 and #4 (13-18 mph, gusts at our University weather buoy reaching 21 the one time we checked). It didn’t take long for the waves to start building but they never became entirely unmanageable due to the northerly wind direction and our proximity to that shore.

Racing was extremely close and the lead changed regularly in nearly all races. At lunch break after two races 3 racers were tied with 4 points. The afternoon sailing was challenging and a couple boats split up their crews to sail with some of the lighter single-handed skippers. It didn’t help Afan Ottenheimer any when his hiking stick failed completely in race three. A line tied to the tiller made it possible to hike out or bear off but leeward roundings got a little tricky. Every neck and neck downwind run, upwind tacking decision or boat handling skills at roundings or in general really mattered all the time. Any of the top three racers could easily have won the event. It came down to the last race. We all knew we had experienced a great full day of sailing when we kicked back at Burrows Park.

This was a good first effort for our club to host a regional MC regatta. We would like to communicate with the MCSA to see if there might be a warm water date that would serve as a good fit for a possible Mendota/Monona shared regatta…perhaps alternating lakes. Lake Mendota is such a great venue offering a bigger lake experience and Monona has it going on with its smaller size, shifty winds and beautiful capitol skyline views. Both lakes are within an hour or so of many Wisconsin sailors. Thanks to the MCSA for all the help that was provided…Fleet 69.


Boat #

Race #1

Race #2

Race #3

Race #4



Stefan Schmidt








Timothy Elfenbein








Afan Ottenheimer








David Sebald








Paige Fitton








Billy & Mitch Fitton








MC Drag Racing with Caption

UW Lifesaving Gets a New Boat

As hard as it is to imagine right now, there will be a day when all of the Mendota Yacht Club boats will be on the lake and racing fiercely. When that day comes, there is bound to be a boat that will win the Tanglefoot Award. Everyone will laugh at the story as it is told at the Commodore’s banquet, but chances are it created a bit of stress in the moment. It’s also likely that the UW Lifesaving rescue boat was on hand to assist.

Mendota Yacht Club has always had the good fortune to have the UW Lifesaving Station’s watchful eye looking over it. Established in 1909 to provide lake rescue service for UW-Madison students, it is going strong over 100 years later. It provides rescue service not only for boaters and swimmers from UW-Madison, but also for the Madison community, including Mendota Yacht Club.

Starting July 15, sailors in need of help will be greeted with a new rescue boat: a Metal Shark 32 Defiant. This boat was custom-built for UW-Madison and is a proven safety and rescue boat. Take a few minutes to view the video to get acquainted with the boat.

Notification of Racing Rules Modifications

Hello members,

What a challenging year COVID-19 has brought us. Because the MYC board is striving to comply with the recommendations of Public Health Madison Dane County (MDC), we have divided the summer into a “Shorthanded” series and a “Fully-crewed” series for E-Scows and Keelboats.

For the “Shorthanded” series, the MYC Board has made modifications to the Racing Rules (e.g. E-Scows and Keelboats that elect to sail the MYC race course with more than two (2) individuals on board shall not be scored for the “Shorthanded Series”). For questions regarding how these modified rules apply to your fleet, get in touch with your fleet captain for further instructions.

The “Shorthanded” series shall remain in effect for the duration of Forward Dane Phase 2 and until further notice from the MYC Board. MYC plans to modify these rules to allow for fully-crewed boats as soon as Public Health MDC orders allow for sporting activities without strict social distancing requirements (hopefully Phase 3). MYC shall designate Sunday and Wednesday races conducted under this rule as a separate, “Shorthanded Series” and such races shall not count towards the regular Summer Sunday or Wednesday Series for E-Scows and Keelboats.

This modification also includes protocols for all MYC sailors and boats. For the full text of this modification, please click the Racing Rules Modifications link in the above header.

Stay safe,

Commodore Pete

2020 Payton Regatta is Postponed

MYC Vice Commodore and Race Committee Chair Charlie Goehring has announced that the upcoming Payton Regatta Mallory Cup (PMC) has been cancelled for the week-end of June 20 and 21, 2020, and will be rescheduled for a later date. This decision has been made in full consultation with Cruiser Fleet Captain Grant Frautschi and Commodore Pete Mooney.

This was a difficult decision and was influenced by Saturday's weather forecast and an anticipated low Cruiser Fleet turnout complicated by the closed Hoofer mooring field and COVID Phase II crew staffing requirements. MYC is concerned that should heavy weather befall the Cruiser Fleet (the fleet vying for the PMC), that safe boat handling might become an issue.

Next week, Charlie will convene a virtual meeting of the MYC Race Committee to establish a new date for the regatta that will also include a social event.

There will be regular club racing on Sunday, June 21.

A Word from the MYC Board Secretary

Dear MYC Members,

The Board met virtually yesterday (June 2) to discuss the racing calendar and how to begin racing at the earliest possible date while complying with City of Madison and Dane County guidelines, laws, and regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. As you know, Dane County is currently in Phase 1 of the Forward Dane Reopening Plan. During Phase 1, hosting of sporting competitions generally, and team sport activities specifically (except with household members) are not allowed as they do not allow for proper social distancing. As such, the Board determined that we will need to postpone any official MYC races until the next Phase, which will allow us to operate races in some capacity.

The earliest Phase 2 can begin is Tuesday June 9th. To date, Public Health Madison and Dane County has not released guidance for team sport activities or sporting competitions during Phase 2, but the organization is considering input from the community. The MYC Board will be developing guidelines in consultation with Public Health officials in order to allow us to operate races at the earliest available time. We are hopeful that this will be by Wednesday of next week, June 10th, provided that the county does not delay its planned implementation of Phase 2.

Stay tuned for more updates and additional guidance over the next week. Please note that City and County laws and regulations and MYC guidelines may require some limitations on number of crew, number of households per boat, social distancing and additional rules to help stop the spread of the virus and help us operate safely. Thank you for your patience. We look forward to seeing you on the water as soon as possible.

Best regards,

Matthew M. Barron

Secretary of the Board, MYC

MYC Board of Directors at Work

Meet Commodore Pete

Born and raised right here in Madison, Commodore Pete Mooney grew up remembering his dad as always singing. No matter where they were or what they were doing, there was a tune coming out of his father. Oddly, Pete’s family wasn’t particularly musical. He remembers a piano in his childhood home, but he can’t recall anyone ever playing it. There were also piano legs supporting a large table in the basement laundry room. “At some point in my family’s history, there must have been a musician,” he muses, “but I have no knowledge of who that might have been.”

If music was an elusive part of Pete’s childhood, water was not. His dad loved to swim in Madison’s lakes and he frequently took the kids with him. Pete remembers learning to swim at Tenney Park at a very young age. He was also a scout, joining in 1957 and remaining active throughout his early adulthood. He was an Explorer Scout Adviser for much of that time.

Pete’s other interest as a young boy was in mechanics and electronics. He would take apart anything he could get his hands on—clocks, bicycles—to study how they worked. It’s this interest that led him to enroll in the Computer and Electrical Engineering department at the University of Wisconsin Madison—something he knew he wanted to do even when he was in grade school.

Once at UW, Pete laughs that he didn’t take his first year seriously. At the end of the less-than-stellar year, he was drafted. To pre-empt the draft, he enlisted for three years and served in Alaska working with Ground Surveillance Radar. He also served in South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and Washington State.

When he was released from the Army, he returned to UW and became a serious student. He also became an active tech dinghy sailor at the Hoofer Sailing Club. When he wasn’t in class, doing homework, or sailing, he had a part-time job with Wisconsin Public Radio fixing their electronics and running their main control operations. He graduated from the university in 1978 with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

His first job after graduation was in Boston for a company called PR1ME Computer where he designed and tested controller boards for computer peripherals. PR1ME’s clients were mainly universities and hospitals. After three years, he had an opportunity to move back to Madison, where he worked for Amtelco building a small computer that was used by telephone answering services. He also developed peripherals and worked in quality assurance. Five years later, he moved to a company called Astronautics Corporation of America, where he did mostly quality assurance. He was there for four years. His final job before retirement was with PIC Wisconsin, a medical liability insurance company, where he worked in sales and marketing. Pete currently volunteers at the VA Hospital and at the Hoofer Sailing Club.

Regardless of where he lived and worked, the water was his second home. While working in Boston, he crewed on keelboats in Long Island Sound. Upon returning to Madison, he re-joined Hoofers where he crewed on the keelboat Maria, raced 470s, skippered E-Scows, crewed on M-20s, windsurfed, and was both skipper and crew on Soma. He also became a Hoofer instructor and taught people to sail on the Tartan-10, New York 36, Mull 33, Santa Cruz 33, E-scow, C-scow, M-20, 470, Tech Dinghy, and Windsurfer. He was particularly proud of his work teaching deaf students how to sail. Over the past 30 years, he has been a well-known personality at Hoofers.

Pete has also skippered and crewed on many charter boats that have cruised lakes and oceans around the world. It was bare-boat sailing where Pete and his fellow sailors did all the work including their own cooking, cleaning, navigating, skippering, and maintenance. The boats have ranged from 33 to 44 feet. He has sailed in the Apostle Islands, British Columbia, down the east coast, in the Caribbean, and across the Atlantic from South Carolina to the Azores Islands. He has also raced on Lake Michigan many times including a couple of races from Chicago to Mackinaw Island.

When he sailed the 3,000-mile Atlantic crossing, it was just Pete and two other sailors on a 35-foot boat. They sailed through four days of storms where the waves were as tall as the mast. They made the crossing, landing in the Azores, and after a brief stay, Pete took non-sailing transportation back to the United States. When asked if he ever encountered pirates on any of these cruises, he says that they did not, but on their Caribbean cruise, the boat was robbed while they were on shore. Oddly, only the film and camera were taken. All of the valuables were left on the boat. (Pete’s crew had possibly photographed some drug runner boats.)

Pete raced in MYC as a Hoofer crew on S/V Maria in the ‘80s. Pete’s more serious association with Mendota Yacht Club began when he joined around 2010. At that time, he was campaigning the Hoofer boat Soma and then later the S/V Decoy. He currently races the Hoofer boat Siege, where his crew is often composed of students who are taking a sailing lesson. He joined the MYC Board of Directors about six years ago when he was nominated for a position and accepted it in what he calls a weaker moment. He says it has been a lot of fun for him and he’s happy to give back to the club that has given him so much enjoyment and comradery. He believes MYC has great people and he is glad to meet them through his Board position.

As Commodore, he hopes to accomplish four key goals:

  1. Create more cohesiveness between the keelboat and scow classes during social events. To this end, the club is having Fleet Meet-Ups one Wednesday night each month this summer. In June, July, and August, one fleet captain will choose a venue where sailors from all fleets can meet and socialize after the race.
  2. Coordinate and promote youth sailing. This summer MYC will participate with the youth sailing club in their awards banquet. We will also encourage members to donate to the youth sailing club.
  3. Get a smooth website up and running. You are reading this article on the new website, and we hope to have many updates and improvements throughout the year.
  4. Research the possibility for having a meeting space where club members can congregate, and the youth in our club can come and learn to sail. The board is exploring options.

As if these goals weren’t challenging enough, Pete now has the dubious responsibility of navigating our club through a year when the coronavirus has changed the way we live and the way we congregate. There is no question that he is up to this challenge.

Commodore Pete with Bucky Badger in the Time of COVID

An Update from Your Commodore

Greetings Mendota Yacht Club Members,

The MYC board met online on April 21, 2020 with only one member absent. We are hoping that the pandemic will be easing and that we can at last go safely sailing. With Governor Evers’ Safer at Home policy being enforced through the end of May, we have made the following changes to the 2020 calendar:

The following events are CANCELLED

  • Spring racing series
  • E Spring Regatta
  • Memorial Day race
  • Bloody Mary party

The following events are RESCHEDULED

  • Burrows Park Pier-In—May 30 (unless the Scow Fleets contract with a third party to install earlier)
  • Keelboat Crane-In—May 30 (please coordinate with your fleet captain)
  • RC1 Clean-Up work party—May 31
  • Beginning of Summer Racing Series—June 7

The following events are still ON THE SCHEDULE, but we are keeping a close watch on the COVID situation and will make adjustments if necessary.

  • After-Race party at Shorewood Boathouse—June 7
  • Fleet Meet-Up at Bear and Bottle—June 10 (this is an all-fleet after-race party with the venue chosen by the MC fleet captain)
  • 2020 Payton Regatta—June 20-21
  • Payton Potluck at Maple Beach Boathouse—June 20 (this party will be changed from a potluck to a catered event for food safety reasons)
  • Payton Awards party at Burrows Park—June 21

The MYC Directories will be available for pick-up at the June 20 Payton dinner at the Maple Bluff Beach House. Any remaining MYC Directories will be mailed after the June 20 party.

The MYC board will remain flexible and we’ll make calendar adjustments if needed. You can view the full calendar at

Stay safe,

Pete Mooney
MYC Commodore

Coronavirus Infects Spring Sailing Season

Novel coronavirus illustration m

The MYC spring social calendar was shaping up to be a fun and exciting beginning to the 2020 sailing season. The social committees of four boating clubs (MYC, Four Lakes Yacht Club, Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club, and Lake Monona Sailing Club) had plans to convene the clubs on March 21 for a March Madness party. And things were looking promising for our Wisconsin Badgers as they were the #1 seed in the Big 10 Tournament. Additionally, Dave and Lori Gorwitz had agreed to host the Spring Banquet in their home once again.

As the social committee finalized the schedule and submitted it to the Board of Directors for approval, news started appearing about a disease outbreak in Wuhan, China. Then it was in Italy and Iran and South Korea. It was only a matter of time before the coronavirus hit our shores in Washington State. As the virus moved throughout the United States, large gatherings started limiting or prohibiting spectators. The Big 10 started its tournament as normal on March 11, but then announced it would hold the rest of the tournament without spectators. The next day, on March 12, before any further games could be played, the entire tournament was cancelled.

In the meantime, the social committee of the Four Lakes Yacht Club weighed the situation and determined it was too risky to hold a large gathering (last year’s Tropical Party had 90 attendees), and cancelled the March Madness party.

The MYC Board and Social Committee remained hopeful that the Spring Banquet could still take place on May 9. But as the virus spread and governors and mayors began announcing shutdowns and limits on the size of events, the Board decided it was time to cancel the banquet. We are hopeful that, as the virus runs its course, we can reschedule a fun event later in the season.

However, the remaining social schedule remains in limbo as there is no clear idea how long the virus and its accompanying restrictions will last. The social schedule is posted on this website as originally planned, and we will keep you informed of the status of each event as the date for it nears.

In the meantime, stay safe and wash your hands!

MYC 2022 COVID Response Plan

Public Health Madison & Dane County has extended its mask mandate. Effective January 3, 2022 at 12:01am, face coverings are required among people ages two and older when in any enclosed space open to the public where other people, except for members of the person’s own household or living unit are present. This order will be in effect until February 1, 2022.

Face Cover Emergency Order #6

Public Health Madison & Dane County Info

CDC Guidelines for Fully Vaccinated People

Where to Sail in the USA

Are you someone who likes to visit or sail at other yacht clubs when you travel? US Sailing has a useful tool for helping you find the closest place to sail when you reach your destination. Check it out here.

Introducing Crew Finder

Are you a skipper looking for crew? Crew looking for a skipper. Try this skipper/crew finder:

What Do Sailors Do When The Water Gets Hard?

Instead of allowing winter and the frozen lakes to put a damper on their fun, some sailors trade their daggerboards for ice runners. Rear Commodore Brett Hulsey and his friends John and Renee did just that. They found the Lake Monona ice perfect for smooth ice sailing. If you would like to hitch a ride with Brett on his two-seater, text him at 608-334-4994 to arrange a time.

Brett Hulsey and Friends

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events